Monday, June 28, 2021

Maybe God needs to take people through the 12 Steps for all their miseries

  • Admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  • Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care and direction of God as we understood Him.
  • Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  • Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • Were entirely willing that God remove all these defects of character.
  • Humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings — holding nothing back.
  • Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make complete amends to them all.
  • Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  • Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  • Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  • Having had a spiritual experience as a result of this course of action, we tried to carry this message to others, especially alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
  • A while back, I stumbled across what appeared to be a New Age guru, who posted something daily on his Facebook wall. He seemed to have quite a large following. He showed being from my hometown, Birmingham, Alabama, but had lived in Sedona, Arizona for a long time. I don't know Sedona now, but back when I lived in the spiritual centers Santa Fe, New Mexico and Boulder, Colorado, Sedona was considered pretty way far out there. 

    In August 1995, I spent one night in Sedona during a long road trip after a big upheaval in my Boulder life, which eventually led me back to living in Alabama for a while. That afternoon and evening in Sedona, I met some interesting people, who did not seem tangled up in the way far out side of Sedona, but were definitely seeking something different. I had a couple of palpable surreal experiences with the full moon rising that night. In a dream later that night, I saw a lot of darting black wedge-shaped beings or objects commanding the heavens, and I sang them a beautiful song and they all dispersed and the dream ended. 

    I left Sedona the next morning on what would prove to be a long, winding, remarkable and remarkably difficult trip here and there, in and outside of America, on this world and in other realms, still in progress. A trip that caused most people I met along the way to think I didn't have all my marbles. I don't recall meeting anyone who had all their marbles. I met people trying all sorts of ways to get better, after church didn't work. I met people in churches, who weren't getting better.

    This fellow from Birmingham seems to have done plenty of the road less traveled by. But I don't see him talking about God wearing him out. I see him often using Astrology to explain to his readers why this and that is going on in the world and in their lives. There actually is something to Astrology, as any Buddhist knows. And, as Astrologers know. But Astrology was not developed to be used as an excuse for not dealing with our own stuff. To the contrary, Astrology is a tool for recognizing, facing and dealing with our own stuff.

    The Sedona guru recently posted this below on Facebook. Close to the bone for me, because there has been a good bit of alcoholism in my family.

    Albert 
    Knowing when to let go of someone who won't sober up after many rehabs and hospitalizations. Those of us in the helping business are not gods and we do not have voodoo powers to strike any drunk sober.
    I have been working with a beautiful woman in her later 30's, divorced with twins, who has been through a number of treatment centers and hospitalized many times. The minefield with which we have to work is loaded down with secrets and internal conspiracies with her demons. Although SI has seen miracle after miracle in more than 45 years of work with anger and rage and liars and schemers and dreamers and other deadly characteristics, we can only lead them and nurture them and expose them to a way of life worth living, but the successes are in the details of inner work that only the seeker can manage to embrace and change. TGIF, in more ways than a dozen. Om. Tat. Sat. Om.

    Deborah
    Maybe she needs medications?

    Christine
    Blessings on our journeys.

    Ellen Long
    Oh the heartbreak. And oh the peace we gain when these noble friends finally get through to us that God's got a plan. Thank you for sharing.

    Sloan Bashinsky
    Don't know what is your experience, Albert, and I am not an alcoholic, but my parents and other family members were, and only one of them known to me used AA and it did help that one get and stay sober for going on 20 something years now.
    When I lived in Boulder, Colorado, and also when I lived in Key West, I got to know some AA old timers who said 95 percent of people who come to AA relapse. They said they didn't advertise that.
    I think the steps about admitting helplessness and insanity and only God can take over and help (that was the original 12 steps, before God wasn't so "politically incorrect"), is on the money.
    I once was homeless and was required by the halfway house to attend AA, NA or ALANON daily, even though I was not an addict. I spoke sometimes in meetings of dreams and other ways God was having at me. An old timer came up to me after one such meeting and said he liked what I had said, there was meeting coming of old timers, would I care to attend? I said, Yes. He asked who was my sponsor? I said my sponsor was God, as taught in the 12 steps. He said I had learned nothing in those rooms. I said I had read The Big Book and all the material and everything on the walls, and there is nothing there about having a human sponsor. I said God is taking me through the 12 Steps, it is awful. He turned and walked away. I was not told when the meeting of old timers would be.
    God kept having at me, actually it was angels. I figure God is pretty busy and delegates 

    Albert
    Sloan Bashinsky, thank you and agree

    Sloan Bashinsky
    I would add that during perhaps 100 12 step meetings when I was homeless , I did not hear another person describe being steered, advised, corrected, etc. by something not of this world. Nor for that matter did I hear much in churches when I was growing up and later, of that happening to people, and I don’t recall ever hearing in a church of God taking someone’s personal inventory, rebuking someone, and redirecting someone, which I have experienced ongoing since early 1987, lots of beautiful too, and along the way I met a few people having similar experiences.

    Patrick
    for her soul…. From one of those liars and schemers you worked with and influenced toward a better life

    Jennifer 
    ACKNOWLEDGING....that you cared - we are infinite.....you activated her heart and that she matters...........it does matter whether this life or the next!

    Alix
    See the work of Dr Gabor on addiction darling.

    Susie
    There are other addictions — bad habits deeply ingrained, that somehow take over a person’s life—-The individual must be motivated, and convinced as you are, that life is better without the addictive substance or behavior. People sometimes feel a comfort in their bad habits— so they misstep and complain repeatedly. Those people are addicted to the misery, not to the solution.

    Sloan Bashinsky
    Susie- Once upon a time I spent a pretty good bit of time trying to help people with deep-seated misery of various origins and presentations. I did it sometimes in Alabama, but mostly in Colorado, where I then lived. The Alabama Mental Health Board got onto me about it once, and I was living in Colorado and replied that moved me out side their jurisdiction, and also I was talking with people about their relationship with God and their souls, which also was outside their jurisdiction. Colorado allowed anyone to be a psychotherapist, without or without any formal training, because there was no conventional agreement on what kinds of psychotherapies worked, or didn't work. Boulder might have had more psychotherapists and gurus per capita than just about any other city, except perhaps Santa Fe and Sedona?😎 
    Those were interesting times. Before angels really laid into me and adjusted and readjusted me like it was an addiction for them, picking on me. By and by they moved me away from that work into churches, then into politics, where I tried to apply that work. Tried. 😎

    Sloan Bashinsky
    I probably would be remiss in not also saying, along the way I met some psychiatrists, and only one seemed to think God was relevant to mental health, and it seemed he came to that view via his own life coming unraveled and he was put to dealing with it in ways he was not trained in medical school.

    sloanbashinsky@yahoo.com

    2 comments:

    1. M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled) was a psychiatrist who would have been deeply fascinated by your close, direct communications. God is always giving the rest of us signs and symbols and we crawl along studying the patterns until our backs ache and eyes strain and we stand and carry on.
      I love the 12 steps but AA is as prone to cliquish behavior as any assembly. I did not care for the ACOA meetings. We were to be focusing on self and directly working on codependency but unfailingly the meetings would devolve into focus on the Problem Person.
      I didn't willingly know my Mother not long after, she was the one in AA who would have been my Problem Person had I chosen to continue active engagement past 18.

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    2. read Dr. Peck's The Road Less Traveled, and later his The People of the Lie, which got me into some trouble when I tried to fit some people I knew into it.

      I think were God to have angels to put America, for example, through the 12 Steps, each persona and the nation, it would change the course of human history.
      I suppose as an American I have standing to suggest that, but it looks to me from all I have read and seen online and when I was over seas, humanity would benefit from that happening everywhere.

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